Sustainability on show in Singapore
Singapore is a leader in sustainability and Arinex was fortunate to experience the best on offer with the Singapore Tourism Board on a three-day famil. During our visit we came to acknowledge why Singapore is often referred to as #easyasia.
Flying to Singapore was a breeze with Singapore Airlines departing most major city airports in Australia. From Sydney it was an eight-hour flight. Singapore Airlines has incorporated sustainability into the heart of their service from investing in biofuels and joining the ASPIRE programme.
Handy tip: You can check in with Singapore Airlines (including bags) 24 hours prior to departure. This allows you to check out of your hotel early, check in at the airport, and then continue to explore before your flight. And there is plenty to explore.
We stayed at the JW Marriot Hotel South Beach, a five-star hotel offering an artful balance of historic heritage and contemporary style in close proximity to the central business district and leading Singapore attractions. With an onsite spa, two pools, fitness centre, seven bars and dining options along with 18 event spaces, it’s easy to see this as a great incentive or conference option. A lot of the spaces are heritage buildings, and the venue has retained its heritage features and provided complementary additions. The grand ballroom is housed in a 1930s heritage building that was once used by the Singapore Army for training. The hotel is Building and Construction Authority Green Mark certified and offers electric car charging stations. It uses solar panels to power common area lighting and reuses rainwater for the water fountain at the entrance.
Image Left: Undercover high-rise infinity pool at JW Marriot South Beach
Image Right: Ballroom at JW Marriot Hotel South Beach
Day one was all about the island of Sentosa. We learnt more about ourselves and bonded as a team at Scentopia where we participated in a perfume-making workshop. After lunch at Rumours Beach Club, the only beach club to have three pools, we visited a newly opened wellness and fitness centre called Core Collective where we experienced a pain management class followed by a relaxing yoga class. We ended the day on a high with a ride on SkyHelix Sentosa, Singapore’s highest open-air panoramic ride that gently rotates 80m above sea level and Singapore’s first carbon-neutral attraction. We then visited a new lifestyle and event space on Sentosa called Southside. This space has undercover and open-air spaces with the Singapore skyline as your backdrop. The venue could be used for movie nights for 400 people, gala dinners and cocktail receptions over 1,000.
Sentosa as a destination has established a Sustainable Framework focused on sustainable travel and leisure activities, decarbonisation and closing the Waste Loop and incorporates integrative planning, design and development.
Image Left: SkyHelix ride at Sentosa
Image Right: Rumours Beach Club
On day two we were supplied with our own moped sidecar ride through the city of Singapore complete with an attentive driver who shared local stories and anecdotes of Singapore. We finished up at Gardens by the Bay, a showpiece of horticulture and garden artistry that presents the plant kingdom in a whole new way aloft in the sky.
Next up we were treated to lunch at Candlenut at Dempsey, the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant. Peranakan is a cultural group descendant of early Chinese migrants in Singapore, and Candlenut is preserving this long-lasting traditional cuisine. Following an outstanding meal, we walked off lunch at Orchard Drive (Singapore’s version of Queens St, Bourke St and Pitt St Malls) where we discovered ‘Design Orchard’ a dedicated retail space for budding designers of Singapore to launch and sell their products. Two brands in particular stood out, Chop Value who repurpose chopsticks into homewares and The Animal Project, a social enterprise that beautifully curates quality lifestyle products using artwork drawn by persons with special needs. For dinner we visited the world’s highest farm-to-plate dining restaurant, Karla & Oumi, that uses its own rooftop garden produce in their meals. The service and food were exquisite, and it was topped off by the stunning view of the iconic Marina Bay Sands lightshow.
Image Left: Moped sidecars tour down Haji Lane in Singapore
Image Right: Gardens by the Bay
Our final day began with an #instawalk Tour of Chinatown. Our local guide was accompanied by a professional Instragramer who provided invaluable insights into obtaining the perfect photo using a smartphone. After working up an appetite we visited the grand Shangri La Singapore. Nestled within 15 acres of tropical landscaped gardens it is truly a hotel sanctuary within the city. Its lush open gardens, unparalleled dining options, family friendly facilities and luxurious pampering services sits across three different wings. The Shangri La Group has sustainability and CSR initiatives in place throughout all their properties.
Handy tip: Singapore is encouraging event managers to select a rotating menu for events of more than one day with morning tea the same option each day or at minimum the ingredients similar to avoid as much waste as possible.
Image Left: China town in Singapore
Image Right: Lobby at Shangri La Singapore
Sustainability Fun Facts
Some sustainability facts we learnt include:
- For every square metre that is built, you need to build a square metre of greenery (gardens, plants, etc).
- Singapore is focused on quality recycling, reusing and repurposing. Waste is sent to an island where it is estimated that it will reach capacity by 2045 so alternatives for waste are being developed. One concept implemented recently is the ash from the burning of rubbish is used to make the asphalt for roads and pavements.
- The new cruise ship terminal and the 5th airport terminal, once completed, will be built 5 meters higher than everywhere else to account for the rising sea levels due to climate change.
- The Singapore Hotel Association has launched a Hotel Sustainability Roadmap which sets out two targets: 60% of hotel rooms need to attain internationally recognised hotel sustainability certification by 2025 and hotels are required to track their carbon emissions by 2023 with the aim of achieving net-zero by 2050.
- Singapore is efficient and multipurposed. It is rumoured the main highway that has barriers down the middle are easily removed and can act as an emergency runway if necessary.
- Singapore has switched from oil fuel to natural gas, the cleanest form of fossil fuel. 95% of Singapore’s electricity is now generated by natural gas. Due to the islands size, it is challenging to switch to an alternative natural energy like solar because they cannot generate enough energy from sunlight. However, they are continually improving the performance of solar powered systems and installing solar panels on rooftops and floating solar panels on water reservoirs.
- It is discouraged to own a vehicle in Singapore. To encourage more bus, train and bicycle use, the government has made it extremely expensive to own your own car. Along with the registration, purchase price, insurance and maintenance costs, the owner must also apply for a certificate of entitlement (COE) to own a car and only a limited number of certificates are available at any time. Therefore, you must first wait for a certificate to become available. A COE for a small car in Singapore will set you back A$90,000.
For more information or ideas for Singapore contact us today.